One of the women suspected of duping Chinese immigrants out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in so-called "blessing scams" has been indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury. Xuekun Su, 44, was charged with grand larceny as a hate crime—but her lawyer says she's actually a victim herself.

Su is accused of approaching, along with other alleged scammers, two women in different incidents. From the Brooklyn DA's office:

On April 27, 2016, in the vicinity of Bay 22nd Street and 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the defendant and unapprehended other individuals allegedly approached the victim, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant, and engaged her in conversation, gaining her trust. The defendant and the other individuals allegedly posed as clairvoyants and convinced the victim that she or a member of her family would die because of a curse.

They allegedly convinced her that in order to rid herself of the curse she needed to gather large sums of cash and jewels to be blessed in order to remove the evil spirits surrounding her family. After the blessing, the victim was promised that the money and jewelry would be returned. The victim gathered approximately $140,000 cash and numerous pieces of 24-karat gold jewelry.

The victim then met with the defendant and others who, according to the investigation, instructed the victim to place the cash and jewels into a bag so that a “blessing” could be performed over them to remove the curse. The victim was told not to open the bag for many days in order to break the curse. She opened the bag that evening and found that all of her cash and jewelry was gone. She then contacted the police.

On June 22, 2016, in the vicinity of 48th Street in Sunset Park, the defendant and unapprehended others allegedly perpetrated this scheme again, targeting a 54-year-old Chinese immigrant. As in the earlier incident, the victim was told that a member of her family would die due to a curse. The victim was convinced that in order to have the curse removed, she had to have her valuables “blessed.” Again, the victim was promised that her money and jewelry would be returned after the blessing. The victim gathered approximately $19,000 in cash and numerous pieces of 24-karat gold jewelry, at which point the items in the bag were “blessed” and, the victim later realized, her cash and jewels were gone.

Su is being held on $150,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond. Her lawyer said, "This case is not dissimilar from a lot of prostitution rings. She was smuggled into this country and promised citizenship and the taste of the American dream. She was told that she had to do certain things. She did not want to do these things. Her involvement was little, if any."

DA spokesperson Helen Peterson told NBC News that prosecutors "can charge a hate crime if a victim is targeted because of ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs." This classification of crime comes with heavier penalties if convicted, and Peterson says, "In this case, the theory is that the victims were targeted because of their ethnicity, because they were Chinese, and because of their religious practices, their religious spiritual beliefs."

Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said, "I urge those in the Chinese community to warn their vulnerable family members to be aware of these scams to avoid falling prey to them."

The authorities are still looking for her accomplices.